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Monday, September 17, 2012

Teslin Lake update - September 15

The funniest looking Ruby-crowned Kinglet ever!
The weather was very variable during the period from September 11th to 15th. We had the first snow fall for the valley bottom on the 11th and the 12th was lost to heavy rain. There was some more rain on the 13th and the last two days were windy so that we had to keep some of the nets closed. The big difference was in the bird movement. Passerines were out and about and many also found our nets. The busiest morning was the 14th when after heavy rain overnight and into the morning we opened two hours late and still managed to band 90 birds. Overall we banded 260 birds (0.554 birds/net hr) for a season total of 2063 birds (0.344 birds/net hr) of 45 species. The period top six was Ruby-crowned Kinglet 57, Orange-crowned and Yellow Warbler both 38, and Boreal Chickadee, Yellow-rumped and Wilson’s Warbler 27 each. The current season top five is Alder Flycatcher 827, Yellow Warbler 216, Yellow-rumped Warbler 153, Wilson’s Warbler 110 and Dark-eyed Junco 91. No new species for the season were caught. Of interest were somewhat late Northern Waterthrush on the 11th and Alder Flycatcher on the 15th plus three more Gray-cheeked Thrushes.

Orange-crowned Warblers were on the move last week

Boreal Chickadee tail-feather comparison - juvenile (L) and adult (R)
 
Both 11th and 12th were quiet bird days but on the 11th the season 1st three Trumpeter Swans were seen. There was a lot more action on the 13th when over 70 Pacific and 15 Red-throated Loons were observed. However, the day was mostly about passerine migration as over 2500 of them flew by. Most of them were Yellow-rumped Warblers but in the mix there were also well over 500 thrushes (half and half Robins and Varieds), 74 American Pipits and 36 Rusty Blackbirds. The 14th was a very busy day in the sky but unfortunately it was very busy at the nets at the same time and so with just two people staffing the station there was no time for migration counts until the afternoon. When ever one did have time to look up during the morning hours there was always a flock of geese or cranes or a harrier or some passerines hurrying south in strong northwest wind. In the end we were able to tally about 140 raptors including the season 1st juvenile Swainson’s Hawk and 12 Golden Eagles (early for such high count), almost 200 Sandhill Cranes, and 62 Rusty Blackbirds. Also seen was the season 1st Sabine’s Gull, a juvenile. At one point we witnessed a Peregrine nail a small gull that looked to have a lot of black on its wing but before we were able to confirm the identity of the prey the Peregrine had tucked it into its talons and carried it away. We never saw the Sabine’s after that... The 15th was rather quiet a day with obs.

Adult Common Loon passing the point

Pacific Loons

One last photo of specklebellies

juvenile male Northern Harrier

Identifying high-flying raptors has many challenges - physical and other. Juvenile Swainson's Hawk in Jukka's scope.

Not all Herring Gulls love each other!

Rose hips are yummy and full of vitamin C

The complete list of birds banded at TLBO this season by Sept 15th (the last five days in brackets):

Sharp-shinned Hawk – 9
Merlin – 1
Solitary Sandpiper – 3
Belted Kingfisher – 6
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – 1
Western Wood-Pewee – 3
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher –9
Pacific-slope Flycatcher – 1
Alder Flycatcher – 827 (1)
Least Flycatcher – 3
Hammond’s Flycatcher – 6 (1)
Dusky Flycatcher – 2
Warbling Vireo – 15
Black-capped Chickadee – 37 (3)
Boreal Chickadee – 65 (27)
Red-breasted Nuthatch – 11
Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 75 (57)
Townsend’s Solitaire – 1
Gray-cheeked Thrush – 4 (3)
Swainson’s Thrush – 41 (1)
Hermit Thrush – 3 (2)
Varied Thrush – 1
Tennessee Warbler – 1
Orange-crowned Warbler – 74 (38)
Yellow Warbler – 216 (38)
Magnolia Warbler – 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler – 153 (27)
Townsend’s Warbler – 6
Blackpoll Warbler – 86 (2)
Cape May Warbler – 1
American Redstart – 20
Northern Waterthrush – 47 (1)
MacGillivray’s Warbler – 1
Common Yellowthroat – 41 (3)
Wilson’s Warbler – 110 (27)
American Tree Sparrow – 6 (5)
Chipping Sparrow – 17
Savannah Sparrow – 19 (2)
Fox Sparrow – 4
Lincoln’s Sparrow – 7
White-crowned Sparrow – 20 (7)
Dark-eyed Junco – 91 (13)
Rusty Blackbird – 5
Purple Finch – 2
White-winged Crossbill – 2
Common Redpoll – 6 (2)
Pine Siskin – 3
= 2063 birds - 45 species - 0.344 birds/net hr (260 birds - 20 species – 0.554 birds/net hr)

 

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